The End of the Middle Ages WHY???
Decline in Church power • A new middle class arose in towns – their desire for $ challenged the teachings of the Church, & deprived the Church of $ • Education became less religiously focused • Wars in Italy forced some popes to live in France for awhile • From 1347-1353 the plague (Black Death) killed 1/3 of Europeans – they felt like the Church / God abandoned them (p. 275-275)
Decline in Church power • The Great Schism led to the Church having 3 popes at once = divinely chosen? • Church abuses made people angry • Fees were charged for Church’s services • Simony – selling of positions within Church • Princely lifestyles of clergy • Led to calls for reform (ex: John Wycliffe wrote Eng translation of the Bible – now any literate person could read it / Jan Hus [Czech] criticized corrupt Church officials)
Increased governmental power • As loyalty to the Church declined, people instead devoted their loyalty to monarchs • Also, the peace of High Middle Ages (in some locations) allowed kings to start consolidating power • In other, less peaceful places, kings could promise protection to the people, as long as the new middle class paid taxes to fund militaries (most people preferred monarchial rule rather than anarchy)
How did the Church respond? • It continued to go after heretics – people within the Church who held & spread ideas that contradicted Church teachings • Heretics were excommunicated – denied Church membership & participation in the sacraments (hence, denied salvation) • If the heretic was a noble & continued to rebel, the Church issued an interdiction, closing churches on the noble’s land = no Church-blessed marriages or burials there